Articles Posted in Election Law

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Petitioner-appellant La Mar Gunn appealed a superior court judgment declaring a tie in the November 4, 2014 general election for the Office of the Recorder of Deed for Kent County. Defendant-appellee Betty Lou McKenna moved to dismiss Gunn's election contest, arguing that Gunn failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. In response to McKenna's motion, Gunn argued that the petition stated a claim, and pointed to the election recount conducted by two superior court judges, "evidenced 'malconduct on the part of election officers or clerks holding the election,'" because three different county conducted by the superior court (sitting as the Board of Canvass) resulted in three different outcomes. McKenna countered that the judges sitting as the Board of Canvass were not "election officers or clerks holding the election." The superior court denied McKenna's motion to dismiss. On appeal, McKenna argued that the superior court "missed the key point" in her motion, and that the claims asserted in Gunn's petition did not fit within the jurisdictional requirements of 15 Del. C. 5941. After review, the Supreme Court concluded that Gunn's petition failed to allege any "malconduct on the part of election officers or clerks holding the election." Therefore, McKenna's motion should have been granted. This case was remanded to the superior court with directions that the judgment be vacated. View "Gunn v. McKenna" on Justia Law

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The issue on appeal before the Supreme Court in this case was whether the Chancellor correctly interpreted 15 Del. C. Sec. 3306, which allows political parties to replace candidates who become incapacitated. The Court held that under the statute, the term "incapacity" includes situations where a candidate would be practically incapable of fulfilling the duties of office in a minimally adequate way. In determining whether the standard was met, the Chancellor could consider events that occurred after the candidate withdrew. In this case, the Court concluded the withdrawing candidate was incapacitated and therefore affirmed the Court of Chancery's judgment. View "Sussex County Dept. of Elections, et al. v. Sussex County Republican Committee, et al." on Justia Law